Organist & Director of Music
Sue Heath-Downey, GRSM, ARCM, LRAM, ARCO
Sue was appointed Organist and Director of Music at St Paul's Church, Deptford in October 2010. She loves playing St Paul’s beautiful new organ, built by William Drake in 2006, in such a fine building and especially for the Sunday Masses.
Sue has held posts as Organist and Director of Music at St Magnus the Martyr, by London Bridge, in the City of London, St Paul’s Shadwell, and at the German Church in Knightsbridge.
Sue has given solo organ recitals in many countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Norway, Australia and USA, as well as Westminster, Southwark, Coventry and Chester Cathedrals in the UK. Recently she has played at St Matthew’s Westminster, Dulwich College Chapel, St Paul’s Cathedral and Queen’s College, Oxford. Sue also plays a copy of an Italian single manual harpsichord and recently performed at the St George’s Festival in Nottinghill.
After studying Organ, Piano, Harpsichord and Choir Training at the Royal Academy of Music (London) Sue worked in sound recording (Argo/Decca) for 3 years, involving many top classical artists. She then became a London-based freelance musician and is now mainly active as a Choral Conductor, Organist and Tutor. Until recently she was Artistic Director and Organiser of the IAO's annual 'London Organ Days'. As a tutor, Sue teaches Organ at Bacon's College in south London, and Piano privately from beginner level to grade 8 and beyond.
Always passionate about access to music for everyone, Sue is strongly committed to developing music-making in her local community and to building bridges between amateur and professional musicians. She is Conductor and Music Director of the Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Choral Society (RBCS), which she founded in 1998, and of the Welcome Singers (Southwark Pensioners' Choir). In 2009 Sue established the RBCS Chamber Orchestra and has recently been made Conductor of the Elizabethan Singers of London, a group that performs Elizabethan music in beautiful period costumes.
Five years ago Sue was struck down with Leukaemia and being unable to even walk, never mind play the organ for 18 months, and after a Bone Marrow transplant, had to relearn her skills: a daunting task but an exciting road to success! She considers herself to be very fortunate in her ‘new’ life.
Sue plays the organ from 10.15am every Sunday.
The Organ at S. Paul's was built by:
William Drake Ltd,